Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Workplace Safety

5 simple ways to improve workplace safetyBuilding a good safety climate for your business can sound a whole lot more intimidating than it actually is.  In fact, you can give your workplace safety performance a big boost just by following these five tips:

1.  Make sure your employees have the right expertise: If a particular employee simply doesn’t have the skills or the training to do his job properly, he’s a whole lot more likely to get injured while he works.  So, before you hire anyone, make sure he actually has the skills to do the work that’s required of him.  And, be sure to have a comprehensive training program in place so that all of your employees know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it as safely as possible.

2.  Hold your employees accountable: If you really want to create a culture of safety, you can’t just come up with a bunch of rules and call it a day.  You’ve also got to make sure that your employees are internally motivated to follow those rules!  Make sure your employees know what all of your safety policies entail, but also what the impact will be if they don’t follow them–not so much to impact to them as the impact to their families and friends if they get hurt on the job.

3.  Never sacrifice safety for efficiency: As a leader, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to get work done as quickly as possible.  After all, time is money.  But if you start cutting safety corners in order to get everything done faster, you’re practically begging for one of your employees to get injured or killed.  When it comes to safety excellence, take a lesson from the tortoise and the hare — slow and steady wins the race.

4.  Don’t assume your business is too small to be dangerous: If you think your business is too small to need a safety culture, think again.  Just because you’ve only got a couple of people working at desks — instead of a giant factory filled with hundreds of workers and dangerous equipment — doesn’t mean your employees are completely safe.  No matter where you work — or how many people you employ — safety risks abound!

5.  Keep an eye peeled for potential dangers: Simply walking through your facility can do wonders for your safety culture.  After all, you may be so used to the things you see every day that you don’t even realize that they’re dangerous.  For example, the heavy box on that high shelf can easily fall on someone.  Or, someone can easily trip over those cords you have running across your warehouse.  That’s why it’s so important to inspect your facility with a workplace safety mindset.  If you look carefully, you’ll likely find risks that can be eliminated.

If you start with these five simple principles, you will have gone a long way toward strengthening your safety culture.

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About the Author

safetyBUILT-IN is the safety-leadership learning and development division of SCInc. We believe sustainable safety performance is best achieved through a core-values based safety culture, and that culture must be driven by leadership. Our safety-leadership programs are competency-based, and focused on performance outcomes. We believe in building capability and ownership into our client organizations—as well as sustainability into our programs—so that our clients can continue running those programs long after we’re out of the picture. Our emphasis is on building better leadership presence, better leadership communication and better leadership coaching by first building relationships of trust with people and learning how to engage them on the level of their core values and beliefs.